Paid Family Leave Becomes New Push In Employment Law

December 7, 2015

Despite already having legislation that requires employers to allow for extended leave, a recent push for this leave to be “paid” is steadily emerging.

Family leave, often accompanied by medical leave, is something that has come to the forefront in the last couple months in the United States. While it has been part of employment law for some time, there has been a recent push to incorporate pay into already guaranteed time off work.

Keep in mind that family leave can involve “paid” and/or “non-paid” family leave. In addition to federal and state law, individual employers may enact their own policy that provides for better coverage required by law.

Many look at family leave and believe it is only for recent mothers. This is far from true as it can be used by everyone in a wide range of circumstances. Depending on which law you interpret, it can include time to take care of a family member who is sick, or for medical conditions you may yourself be suffering from. “Depending on the law” is the key phrase here as there are many that apply.

Federal law on family leave:

Legislation enacted in 1993 became the cornerstone for family leave. The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (better known as “FMLA”) was enacted as a way to guarantee workers the right to take extended leave without fear of losing their jobs. Prior to that time, it was not uncommon for someone who took extended leave to be replaced and not have a job to return to.

The law allows employees to take up to 12 weeks per year under certain circumstances, while protecting them from termination while they are away. Certain provisions must be met prior, such as an employee meeting specific hour rules before they are eligible.

FMLA is NOT paid time off work. It is in place to protect people from losing their job in the event of an extended absence.

What typically happens is a person’s benefits (sick time, vacation, etc.) are depleted during their time away. This allows them to continue receiving pay while they are not working. Once they are out of benefits, they are still afforded the time off (up to the 12 weeks), but will not receive pay unless the employer does so voluntarily.

FMLA has helped many who may have otherwise been unwilling to take the time off for fear of losing their jobs.

Each state has individual laws on family leave

In addition to FMLA, individual states have their own laws concerning family leave. Currently, there are only three states that required “paid” family leave – California, New Jersey, and Rhode Island.

In 2007, the state of Washington passed paid family leave legislation, but it was never implemented. The law was subsequently repealed, leaving only the above three mentioned states with required paid family leave. The District of Columbia is the most recent to attempt legislation requiring paid family leave, calling for up to 16 weeks of paid leave for the birth of a child, a medical condition, or to care for a family member.

The states that do require paid leave are able to fund such programs through payroll taxes deducted from employees. In California, employees are only eligible if they participate in the state’s disability insurance program or some type of voluntary plan. This means that they are not automatically covered unless they voluntarily participate.

Here are links to additional information on family leave laws by state. If your state is not listed below, make sure to check your state’s government website as laws are constantly changing.

Recent views on family leave:

In August 2015, Netflix announced that it would extend its paid family leave policy. First, it is amazing that they have a “paid” policy as most employers do not. The new provision within the policy allows for unlimited time off in the first year for parents after the arrival of a new baby.

The announcement from Netflix caused a stir throughout the U.S. with many calling for other companies to follow suit. However, Netflix came under fire a few weeks later when it was determined the policy only applied to salary employees of one division of the company. This discovery led to even more proponents speaking out about companies implementing paid leave and extending it to all workers.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg became an immediate advocate of family leave in 2015 when he announced plans for a two month hiatus from the company for the birth of his first child. Of course, the topic of “paid” did not come up since his net worth is $48 billion, but it did help change the stereotype of maternity leave being only for women.

Implementing “paid” leave plans has also become campaign rhetoric for both Republicans and Democrats for 2016.

The idea of paid leave is now being supported by companies, employees, celebrities, and politicians. As such, we are likely to see a shift to paid policies sometime in the near future.

What you should do about family leave:

If you run a business, it is important to understand what is required for family leave. Failure to honor any of the requirements can leave a bad mark on your reputation and hurt you monetarily with fines from government agencies.

It is important that you document your family leave policy. Even if you plan to simply follow the requirements of the law, you still need to outline this for employees so they clearly understand. Failure to do so can lead to issues with disgruntled employees.

If you decide to grant benefits above and beyond what is required by law, make sure these are documented as well. Employees with family leave benefits consider them as important as sick leave and vacation time. As such, clearly establishing a policy of what you provide is important.

Overall, family leave is required by federal law. If you live in a state with additional legislation, make sure you follow it. If you are one of the few employers who go above and beyond, good for you. Just make sure everything is spelled out so that your entire workforce is on the same page.

Do you have a policy on family leave? If so, do you simply follow the law or do you extend benefits above and beyond? Would love to hear your thoughts.

Mike Wood

By

Mike Wood is an online marketing expert and owner of Legalmorning.com. He specializes in content writing, brand management, and professional Wikipedia editing. Wood is a regular contributor to many online publications that have included AllBusiness Experts, Business Insider, Business2Community, and Social Media Today. He is also the host of the Marketing Impact podcast.

Get Business Legal Updates

Please provide your full name.
Please provide a valid email address.
We respect your privacy, and we will never share your information. Unsubscribe at any time.

Related Publications

It’s critical for business owners to both comply with and know their rights when it comes to an ICE audit or raid. Nasir, Matt, and Pasha Law attorney Karen McConville discuss how businesses can prepare for potential ICE action and how to properly respond if ICE shows up at your door. Listen Here >> https://www.pashalaw.com/business-prepare-visit-ice/

June 13, 2020

“Space Force,” the name of Trump’s sixth military branch, is still pending in the U.S., but Netflix wasted no time securing the trademark for its new show. Read the full article here >> https://pasha.bz/2XOsRfM

June 11, 2020

Attorneys Matt Staub and Nasir Pasha examine Mark Zuckerberg’s congressional hearings about the state of Facebook. The two also discuss Cambridge Analytica and the series of events that led to the congressional hearings, the former and current versions of Facebook’s Terms of Service, and how businesses should be handling data privacy. Full Podcast Transcript NASIR:…

April 17, 2018

The Trump presidency has led to a major increase in ICE immigration enforcement. It’s critical for business owners to both comply with and know their rights when it comes to an ICE audit or raid. Nasir, Matt, and Pasha Law attorney Karen McConville discuss how businesses can prepare for potential ICE action and how to…

March 10, 2018

On this episode of the Ultimate Legal Breakdown, Nasir and Mattbreak down social media marketing withguests Tyler Sickmeyer and Kyle Weberof Fidelitas Development. They first discuss contests and promotionsand talk about where social media promotions can go wrong,when businesses are actually running an illegal lottery, and the importance of a soundterms and conditions. Next, they…

June 7, 2017

Nasir and Matt discuss various lawsuits against social media platforms in which users are accused of artificially inflating their social currency.

April 6, 2016

Nasir and Matt talk about the Seattle startup SwanLuv, which quickly shifted its business model of giving couples free loans for weddings.

February 24, 2016

Nasir and Matt discussthe different waysthat Netflix and 24 Hour Fitness handled backing out of grandfather pricing to customers.

February 1, 2016

Nasir and Matt discuss Mark Zuckerberg’s decision to take two months of paternity leave, his pledge to donate99% of his Facebook shares to charity, and the alternative motive of Gravity’s CEO to drastically raise the salary of allemployees.

December 9, 2015

The guys kick off the week by discussing the Federal law thatwould prevent companies from using non-disparagement clauses. They also discuss how to detect whether Yelp reviews are fake.

November 9, 2015

Nasir and Matt discuss Oyster, coined the Netflix forBooks, and why their model may work out over the long-term.

April 13, 2015

Nasir and Matt talk about Facebook’s lawsuit against DLA Piper and other law firms accused of furthering a fraudulent lawsuit. The guys also answer, “Can I ban e-cigarettes in the workplace?”

October 29, 2014
Legally Sound Smart Business cover art

Legally Sound Smart Business

A business podcast with a legal twist

Legally Sound Smart Business is a podcast by Pasha Law PC covering different topics in business advice and news with a legal twist with attorneys Nasir Pasha and Matt Staub.
Apple Podcast badge
Google Podcast badge
Spotify Podcast badge

Latest Episodes

July 14, 2021

Through a five-round championship bout, Matt travels to Texas from California to determine which state is better for business. Will it be a knockout with a clear winner or will it go to the scorecards?

June 16, 2021

Covered in this episode of Legally Sound Smart Business are some typical business mistakes blunders small businesses often make and how to avoid them. Blunder #1: Copying and pasting agreements It may sound like a good idea at the time, but this blunder comes with hidden pitfalls. Having an attorney draft terms that are specific…

February 4, 2021

How you terminate an employee can make the difference between a graceful transition to avoidable negative outcomes like a dramatic exit or even a lawsuit. We gathered a panel of experts and asked them – is there a “right way” to fire an employee? We would like to thank our guests for this episode: Amr…

December 2, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has turned nearly every aspect of life on its head, and that certainly holds true for the business world. In this episode, Matt and Nasir explain how the early days of the pandemic felt like the Wild West and how the shifting legal playing field left a lot open to interpretation and…

November 16, 2020

After plenty of ups and downs, our buyer has finally closed on the purchase of their business. While we’re marking this down in the ‘wins’ column, it never hurts to review the game tape. In this final episode, our hosts, Matt Staub and Nasir Pasha, return to the deal almost a year later to reflect…

September 15, 2020

The ink is drying on the signature line and things are looking great for our buyer. After so much hard work, the finish line is in sight and the cheering within ear shot.   Though the landlord is still serving friction, things seem safe to move forward and for now, our buyer will be keeping…

July 31, 2020

Though things are coming along well, the journey would not be interesting if it was purely smooth sailing. After our buyer opens escrow, they are forced to push the closing date back when suddenly a letter from an attorney was received claiming the business, we are buying has a trade mark on the name!  Now…

June 12, 2020

With frustration at an all-time high and professionalism at an all-time low, our friend the Buyer has “had it” with the Seller and quite frankly their lack of knowledge. At present our Buyer is rightfully concerned that the latest misstep from our loose-lipped Seller will threaten not only the entire operation of the businesses but…

May 11, 2020

As we go deeper into the buying process, we start to uncover more challenges from our seller and encounter some of the wrenches they are tossing our way. When we last left off in episode three our team was knee deep in due diligence for our buyer, had already penned and signed the Letter of…

April 4, 2020

One word–interloper! When a new mysterious broker enters the transaction and starts to kick up dust, Nasir and Matt take the reins. The seller signed off on the letter of intent (see episode 2), yet this “business broker” serves only friction and challenges by refusing to send financials, whilst demanding more of a firm commitment…

April 4, 2020

Just as most stories and deals start out, everyone is optimistic, idealistic and full of hope for clear skies. It’s a perfect outlook with a perfect setup for the ups and downs yet to come. Peek further behind the curtain and into the first steps of buying a business: the letter of intent. After the…

April 4, 2020

When a savvy buyer hears opportunity knocking to purchase a prime positioned business, she decides not to go it alone and taps in the professionals to help navigate what could potentially be a fruitful acquisition. “Behind the Buy” is a truly rare and exclusive peak into the actual process, dangers, pitfalls and achievements, that can…

August 7, 2019

GrubHub is subject to two “matters of controversy” that have likely become common knowledge to business owners: “fake” orders and unfriendly microsites.

May 28, 2019

In this podcast episode, Matt and Nasir breakdown the legal issues of the subscription industry’s business on the internet. Resources A good 50-state survey for data breach notifications as of July 2018. California Auto-Renewal Law (July 2018) Privacy Policies Law by State Why Users of Ashley Madison May Not Sue for Data Breach [e210] Ultimate…

March 12, 2019

In recording this episode’s topic on the business buying process, Matt’s metaphor, in comparing the process to getting married probably went too far, but they do resemble one another. Listen to the episode for legal advice on buying a business.

December 3, 2018

Nasir and Matt return to discuss the different options available to companies looking to raise funds through general solicitation and crowdfunding. They discuss the rules associated with the various offerings under SEC regulations and state laws, as well as more informal arrangements. The two also discuss the intriguing story about a couple who raised over…

July 24, 2018

Flight Sim Labs, a software add-on creator for flight simulators, stepped into a PR disaster and possibly some substantial legal issues when it allegedly included a Trojan horse of sorts as malware to combat pirating of its $100 Airbus A320 software. The hidden test.exe file triggered anti-virus software for good reason as it was actually…

April 17, 2018

Attorneys Matt Staub and Nasir Pasha examine Mark Zuckerberg’s congressional hearings about the state of Facebook. The two also discuss Cambridge Analytica and the series of events that led to the congressional hearings, the former and current versions of Facebook’s Terms of Service, and how businesses should be handling data privacy. Full Podcast Transcript NASIR:…

March 10, 2018

The Trump presidency has led to a major increase in ICE immigration enforcement. It’s critical for business owners to both comply with and know their rights when it comes to an ICE audit or raid. Nasir, Matt, and Pasha Law attorney Karen McConville discuss how businesses can prepare for potential ICE action and how to…

February 5, 2018

New years always bring new laws. Effective January 1, 2018, California has made general contractors jointly liable for the unpaid wages, fringe benefits, and other benefit payments of a subcontractor. Nasir and Matt discuss who the new law applies to and how this affects all tiers in the general contractor-subcontractor relationship. Click here to learn…

January 2, 2018

With a seemingly endless amount of new mattress options becoming available, it is unsurprising that the market has become increasingly aggressive. As companies invest in more innovative solutions to get in front of customers, review sites, blogs and YouTube videos have moved to the forefront of how customers are deciding on their mattresses and how…

December 7, 2017

In recent months explosive amounts of high profile allegations of sexual harassment, assault, and varying acts of inappropriate behavior have transcended every sector of our professional world. With a deluge from Hollywood and politics, and the private workforce, accusations have inundated our feeds and mass media. This harassment watershed has not only been felt within…

November 16, 2017

If you are not familiar with the EB-5 program started in 1990 to give green cards to certain qualified investors in the United States, then you may not have been alone a few years ago. Currently, the EB-5 program has since exploded since its inception and now hits its quotas consistently each year. The program…

October 10, 2017

Government requests come in multiple forms. They can come in as requests for client information or even in the form of investigating your company or your employees. Requests for Client Information General Rule to Follow Without understanding the nuances of criminal and constitutional law and having to cite Supreme Court cases, any government requests for…

August 24, 2017

Nasir and Matt suit up to talk about everything pertaining to employee dress codes. They discuss the Federal laws that govern many rules for employers, as well as state specific nuances in California and other states. The two also emphasize the difficulty in identifyingreligious expression in dress and appearance, how gender-related dress codes have evolved…

June 28, 2017

Nasir and Matt discuss the life cycle of a negative online review. They talk about how businesses should properly respond, how to determine if the review is defamatory, the options available to seek removal of the review, how to identify anonymous reviewers, whether businesses can require clients to agree not to write negative reviews, and…

June 7, 2017

On this episode of the Ultimate Legal Breakdown, Nasir and Mattbreak down social media marketing withguests Tyler Sickmeyer and Kyle Weberof Fidelitas Development. They first discuss contests and promotionsand talk about where social media promotions can go wrong,when businesses are actually running an illegal lottery, and the importance of a soundterms and conditions. Next, they…

April 3, 2017

On this episode of the Ultimate Legal Breakdown, Nasir and Matt go in depth with the subscription box business. They discuss where subscription box companies have gone wrong(4:30), the importance of a specifically tailored terms and conditions(6:30), how to structure return policies (11:45), product liability concerns (14:45),the offensive and defensive side of intellectual property (19:00),…

February 1, 2017

Nasir and Matt discuss the suit against Apple that resultedfrom a car crashed caused by the use of FaceTime while driving. They also discuss howforeseeable use of apps can increase liability for companies. Full Podcast Transcript NASIR: Hi and welcome to Legally Sound Smart Business! I’m Nasir Pasha. MATT: And I’m Matt Staub. Two attorneys…

January 5, 2017

The guys kick in the new year by first discussing Cinnabon’s portrayal of Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia soon after her death, as well as other gaffes involving Prince and David Bowie. They alsotalk about right of publicity claims companies could be held liable for based on using someone’s name or likeness for commercial gain.

December 22, 2016

Nasir and Matt discuss the recent incidentat a Victoria’s Secret store where the store manager kicked out all black women after one black woman was caught shoplifting. They then each present dueling steps businesses should take when employees are accused of harassment.

December 8, 2016

Nasir and Matt return to talk about the different types of clients that may have outstanding invoices and how businesses can convert unpaid bills to getting paid.

November 10, 2016

After a long break, Nasir and Matt are back to discuss a Milwaukee frozen custard stand that is now revising it’s English only policy for employees. The guys also discuss how similar policies could be grounds for discrimination and what employers can do to revise their policies.

October 6, 2016

The guys discuss the new California law that allows actors to request the removal of their date of birth and birthdays on their IMDB page and why they think the law won’t last. They also discuss how age discrimination claims arise for business owner.

September 29, 2016

Nasir and Matt discuss the racial discrimination claims surroundingAirbnb and how it’s handled the situation. They also discuss some practical tips for businesses experiencing similar issues.

September 8, 2016

Nasir and Matt discuss whyAmazon seller accounts are getting suspended and banned without notice and how business owners can rectify this situation through a Corrective Action Plan.

August 25, 2016

Nasir and Matt talk about the accusations surroundingfashion giant Zararipping off the designs of independent artists like Tuesday Bassen and howsmaller companies can battle the industry giants.

August 18, 2016

Nasir and Matt discuss Brave Software’s ad replacing technology that has caught the eye of almost every national newspaper and has a potential copyright infringement claim looming. They also welcome digital marketing expert Matt Michaelree to speak on the specifics of what Brave is attempting to do and whether it has the answers moving forward.

July 28, 2016

Nasir and Matt discuss the sexual harassment lawsuit filed by Gretchen Carlson against Fox CEO Roger Ailes. They also talk aboutthe importance of sexual harassment training and properly handling such allegations in the office.

July 15, 2016

Nasir and Matt talk about the changes at Starbucks that have led to many disgruntled employees and customers.

June 23, 2016

Nasir and Matt discuss the criminal charges facing FedExinvolving the alleged transportation of illegal drugs. They also talk about how business owners should address working with customers that may be breaking the law.

June 15, 2016

The guys return after a long break to discuss why Yahoo is auctioning off over 3,000 patents and how this decision will affect the longevity of the company.

May 25, 2016

Nasir and Matt discuss the increase in the salary thresholdfor exempt employees and how employerscan try to avoid paying overtime as a result.

May 18, 2016

Nasir and Matt discuss the Baltimore law that makes it very difficult to operate food trucks in the city. They also discuss all the legal restrictions tohaving a food truck.

May 11, 2016

Matt listens to Nasir recap the developing battle in his hometown of Vandalia, Ohio over whether a Dunkin Donuts can move into a location in close proximity to a local favorite donut shop. They then discusswhether the issue is more legal or personal.

May 9, 2016

The guys kick off the week by discussing a Nevada employee who is claiming she was fired for not supporting the Scientology beliefs of her employer.

April 27, 2016

The guys discuss the massive floods in Houston,how employers responded, and why one meteorologist became a local hero. They also discuss the steps businesses should take in preparing for storms outside the workplace.

April 20, 2016

The guys discuss the boycott of Amazon over the products of an unnamed presidential candidate. They also talkabout how a business should handle a boycott and whether it’s possible to exit one unscathed.

April 13, 2016

Click here to read HubSpot’s response on this topic. Nasir and Matt discuss the trend in startups to compensate programmers and other early employees with stock options and how the company culture at HubSpot isn’t what it seems.

April 6, 2016

Nasir and Matt discuss various lawsuits against social media platforms in which users are accused of artificially inflating their social currency.

We represent businesses.
That’s all we do.

Oh, and we love it.

We love our work. We love reviewing that lease for your new location. We thrive on closing that acquisition that nearly fell through. We’re fulfilled when we structure a business to grow, raise capital, and be legally protected.

We focus on developing close relationships with our clients by being like business partners. A partner who provides essential, personalized, proactive legal support.

We do all of this without utilizing the traditional billable hour model. You pay for the value we bring, not the time spent on calls, emails, and meetings.

Our team is made up of attorneys and staff that share these values and we are retained by clients who want the same.

Pasha Law PC operates in the states of California, Illinois, New York, and Texas.

Meet Our Team

Fractional General Counsel Services

Pasha Law Select offers the expertise of a high-end general counsel legal team for every aspect of your business at a fixed monthly rate. Pasha Law Select is deliberately designed to allow our legal team to be proactive, to anticipate, and to be comprehensive in serving our clients. To be great lawyers, we need to know our clients. We can’t know our clients unless we represent a select number of clients in the long-term. This is Pasha Law Select.

Learn More